In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Michael Hudson on Chinese Soft Power

Posted by seumasach on May 30, 2009

Chinese soft power, as Michael Hudson indicates here, may be increasingly influencing US foreign policy in a trade off in which continued support for US treasuries is premised on the dismantling of the US empire. This is a scenario which we have been anticipating for some time:

“All this, as well as much else, could and should be done; but, as I have sought to  show, we are not “an island entire of itself”. Our situation resembles that of Italy at the end of the Roman empire. It was part of a Mediterranean -wide division of labour and highly dependent on North Africa and Spain for grain and other basic products. The loss of control of these areas to the Barbarian invasions was therefore catastrophic in its effects. It is worth remembering that it took almost 2000 years for the level trade in the Mediterranean to reach the levels it had known during the highpoint of the Roman Empire in the first two centuries AD.

We are similarly  integrated into the global economy. We cannot retreat into Little England: rather, the terms on which this integration is based  must be altered. For Gordon Brown it is a question of visiting the same chaos onto the rest as we have brought to ourselves, and thereby maintaining the relative advantage of London ad Washington in what can only be a greatly impoverished and depopulated world. For us it is a question of turning coercive and parasitic relationships into voluntary,collaborative and productive ones.”

This “changing of the terms of integration” is exactly what we may be witnessing. If so, we can expect to see the Anglo-American elite fragmenting with a pro-China faction emerging in opposition to the hard-liners or dead-enders. Could this remarkable interview be evidence of just such a split.

Now is the time for anti-imperialists within the anglosphere to intensify their efforts to create a new leadership for the end of empire.


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